Saturday, February 24, 2007



As I have mentioned on here before I don't drive, but, my sister and I went to Braehead this afternoon and she drove. My sister is an excellent driver and obeys the speed limit and knows her highway code practically inside out, I know this because I constantly ask her questions and annoyingly she always knows the answers.

Anyone who has visited Braehead recently will know that on the way out of the red car park one of the lanes is closed, on coming back from XScape after dinner we noticed my biggest pet hate... drivers who know that the outside lane is closed but travel right up it anyway to force their way into the traffic to save themselves about five minutes, it annoys other drivers and it causes accidents because people get really frustrated.

Well to the guy who was travelling behind us in the dark green car, well done! knowing that the outside lane closed ahead he sat in the middle of both lanes to stop the traffic skipping the que, it seems childish I know but it did make me smile, one driver behind him even peeped the horn to try and move him out the road, I mean they know the lane is closed why peep your horn? Like you are going to get a good reception to that from everyone else on the road who knows exactly what you are up to!



Today was another one of those where you are running to catch up with yourself, this morning was the Clyde Muirshiel Park Joint Authority meeting which is always really interesting. Unfortunately on the agenda this morning was an item (number 6) suggesting that we shut the facility at Lunderston Bay, no one wants to shut the facility we recognise the benefits of the service but, the ineffectual management of Inverclyde Council and Ardgowan Estates has meant that the reputation of the Park and it's managers are being damaged as we are being blamed for the run down nature of the facilities on offer.

The Councillor from Inverclyde (who was standing in from the usual delegate) suggested that we don't shut the facility, he advised that he would talk to the Chief Executive and get something sorted, although the rest of the committee were sceptical about the progress we agreed that we give the Council until the 29th of March to make significant progress, it was pointed out that Inverclyde Council have had a representative present at this board and that although the action being taken is welcome it is 'too little too late'.

Next quick journey down the road back to the Council chambers and into the Community Health Partnership, the meeting was just about to start as I arrived but made it on time! The agenda as usual was fierce and it included the Community Health Partnership's development plan which is a huge body of work and is an excellent piece of work, if you have time have a look at it. The equality plan was also discussed and the need for a plan and information on the equality of service delivery and this was agreed.

After this it was back to working for my constituents and trying to chase up enquiries that were outstanding. I did not get home around sixish, partly due to a stray staffie outside the office window and having to wait for the dog warden to come and rescue him, hope he found his family! As it is my mum's birthday I running straight back out the door to go see her and see if we can take her out for dinner!

Happy Birthday Mum, hope you had a good day! Here is hoping tomorrow is a little more relaxing!

Thursday, February 22, 2007



I have been watching Question Time for about ten minutes and it is never clearer than now that the SNP have been packing EVERY public meeting that they can. Salmond's debating skills have not improved any, his skill is in smug and self serving comments, interupting others and shouting people down, it is unfortunate that this is something that the SNP locally in Renfrewshire think is a worthwhile skill!

Green Policies but the SNP leader thinks that the road taxing is the same as a poll tax! Thinks that this is a 'daft proposal' even though he called for the introduction of the Road charging in the Westminster Parliament in 1998 (Nicol Stephen on the programme). To be honest I was not impressed he kind of just went for the I know what ever I say I am going to get a cheer so why bother mode tonight, although watch this space for his press release 'The Scottish People are behind me'!!

It is worth noting though that the SNP leader's attendance at votes in the Westminster Parliament, have a look at his record through, according to this it is around 28% across the 3 periods given (although between 1997-2001 it was around 16%), it is strange that someone with let's be honest such a poor attendance record at the Parliament would want to keep it on if he is elected in May, the question then has to be, would his attendance be any better at the Scottish Parliament?



Watching Newsnight Scotland last night it struck me the hypocrisy and lies that the SSP are willing to try and sell the electorate, Frances Curran of the SSP was interviewed about the expenses claims of MSPs. It may surprise some of you that I am NOT writing about the expenses claims themselves, I am not concerned with the way that the SSP and Solidarity allegedly pay their staff that costs more than others at the Parliament, I am concerned with the lies that have been perpetrated by both Ms Curran and Ms Kane (in the past).

The SSP MSPs take their ENTIRE allowance, they are given it, they take it, what they do with it after it is given to them is donate half of it to their political party, this effectively means (as pointed out last night) that a party that less than 5% of the West of Scotland population voted for is using public money to not only keep itself in business (so to speak) but, it is using it to fight the elections.

Their claim that they only take £25,000 is misleading (and that is being kind), it is not a new tactic of the SSP to suggest this, in the last elections my opponent Mr Hogg did the same thing, suggestions were made that he gave his special responsibility allowance to a charity, what it didn't say was that he was the chairperson of the organisation and set the organisation up! The hypocrisy of the SSP shows no end, Ms Kane tried to suggest that she didn't take the full amount of her allowance on Question Time some time back and the audience called her on it, since then the media have been pretty quiet about it.

Many of the readers of this blog may already know Jim Sharkey as he is currently involved with the Ralston Community Council. He is an active member of the Ralston Community and the Paisley North CLP, he presently works for a Local Authority and has been a key player in enhancing the knowledge and understanding of the Single Transferable Vote system to be used in the May Elections. As the information on my updated profile shows he is my running mate for the Paisley East and Ralston seat in the election in May.

Jim currently works as a researcher for a local council and lives in Ralston with his wife, two children. He is secretary of Ralston Community Council and has previously served as a local authority councillor. Jim is committed to delivering peaceful neighbourhoods, improving standards in housing, roads and education.



(Photo courtesy of Renfrewshire Council website)

The Weavers Linn Respite Centre was opened this morning and I was lucky enough to be invited along for the guided tour, the winner of the competition to name the centre was present and there are a few residents using the facility at the moment. I could go on and on at great length about what a fantastic resource this is but the parents and clients do this for me. One of the parents present this morning was asking if we would take them in as well so delighted was she with the facility.

The rooms are spacious and beautifully decorated and the three living rooms are fantastic. The garden is lovely and enclosed so it is private and the staff are excellent, on speaking with some of the clients using the service they are delighted with it.

Renfrewshire Council are one of the few Scottish Council's who have taken the respite service into local control and invested positively in it's future, despite some scare mongering by some pretty nasty people at first the centre fits in well with it's surrounding community and the links for transport and shopping are excellent.

I know that this will be a success, partly because it already is but also because the community and the clients are behind it. These are the accomplishments that people don't really hear about unless they are using the service. The Council's Deputy Leader and Convenor for Community and Family Care Cllr Tommy Williams was also present this morning and was delighted with the response from the residents and their families.

It shows this Labour Administration's commitment to the carers and their families that we offer this first rate service, and we hope to continue to provide this in the future.

Sunday, February 18, 2007



A short time ago I was accused of being paranoid because I accused the nationalists of packing the meeting between Niclola Sturgeon and Wendy Alexander. Some suggested the Labour Party do the same, I have been unable to find evidence of this but I have found evidence of the Nationalists at least attempting to do this check out the following post I found on an independence forum ...

Question Time next week

Author: Robin Day
Date: 16-02-07 21:33
Alex Salmond is appearing on Question Time Next Thursday evening (22nd) in Edinburgh. With the election looming it is especially important we can get a favourable audience.Below is the number and url to call to apply for tickets.

Question Time Ticket No: 01299 829 003


I wonder why though, the SNP never tire of telling us how wonderful a debater and all round perfect person Salmond is so why are they so scared of having a representative audience? Answers on a postcard!


Please note all postings on this blog are of a personal nature and do not reflect the opinions of either Renfrewshire Council, the Scottish Labour Party or Renfrewshire Labour Group. NB No annonymous comments will be published on this blog if you have something to say have the courage to identify yourself.